My Favorite Books

The Walking Drum
Ender's Game
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
The Curse of Chalion
The Name of the Wind
Chronicles of the Black Company
The Faded Sun Trilogy
The Tar-Aiym Krang

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Review: Forsaken Commander

Forsaken Commander Forsaken Commander by G.J. Ogden
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book: **
Performance: ***

The [Force of] Non-belief is Strong In This One

It’s a Space Opera … so a certain level of silliness is expected … however, there is a point of diminishing returns and that point is in the rear view for this story. The classic elements (tropes) of a good story are there but are so mechanically stitched together that it never really takes on a life of its own. So we get a human stellar union (republic) that comes under threat from mysterious (Aternien) super-humans, aka post-humans (Sith anybody?). Their only hope is a couple of augmented humans (Jedi) wielding plasma swords (light sabers), their AI gopher bots (droids) and their former weapons platform (aka long sword spaceship) that was scuttled and abandoned (but apparently just needs a few patches and an OS to be good to go) after the previous war ended in an armistice (that being the perfect time to forget how to actually fight a stellar war). The one (damsel) human intelligence officer on the team is apparently there to serve as a foil to show just how much the augmented humans are over the top “Mary Sue(s)” … a fact that the reader is constantly reminded of ad nauseam … oh and the obvious shipping potential. So we have a team of three (3) good guys vs a handful of Uber bad guys in which was intended to be an Epic story, but there is not a single minion or supporting character in sight … and that is as good as it gets.

The character voices are pretty good and captured the witty banter well; however, the (overly dramatic) narrative text between that didn’t work for me. Still … it was good enough to improve my enjoyment of the story (at least a little) and enabled me to ignore some of the over explanation of the obvious as well as basic errors that would otherwise make no sense … such as a statement that ballistic rounds were unable to penetrate skin that was as solid as lead (which actually can be cut with a butter knife) … of shattered glass from a space shuttle cockpit … directing a massive warship (that maneuvers like a craft with a fraction of its mass) in a space battle with just three people … a rank of Major in a space Admiralty … nanites are basically magic plot armor … et al.

I was given this free advance review/listener copy (ARC) audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

#TheBigFour #FreeAudiobookCodes #KindleUnlimited

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My Ratings Explained ...

  • [ ***** ] Amazing Read - Perfect story, exciting, engrossing, well developed complex characters, solid plot with few to no holes, descriptive environments and place settings, great mystery elements, realistic dialogue, believable reactions and behaviors; a favorite that I can re-read many times.
  • [ **** ] Great Read - Highly entertaining and enjoyable, exciting storyline, well developed characters and settings, a few discrepancies but nothing that can’t be overlooked. Some aspect of the story was new/refreshing to me and/or intriguing. Recommended for everyone.
  • [ *** ] Good Read - Solid story with a 'good' ending, or has some other redeeming feature. Limited character development and/or over reliance on tropes. Noticeable discrepancies in world building and/or dialog/behavior that were distracting. I connected enough with the characters/world to read the entire series. Most of the books I read for fun are here. Recommended for fans of the genre.
  • [ ** ] Okay Read - Suitable for a brief, afternoon escape … flat or shallow characters with little to no development. Over the top character dialog and/or behavior. Poor world building with significant issues and/or mistakes indicating poor research. Excessive use of trivial detail, info dumps and/or pontification. Any issues with the story/characters are offset by some other aspect that I enjoyed. Not very memorable. May only appeal to a niche group of readers. Recommended for some (YMMV).
  • [ * ] Bad Read - Awkward and/or confusing writing style. Poor world building and/or unbelievable (or unlikeable) characters. Victimization, gaslighting, blatant abuse, unnecessary violence, child endangerment, or any other highly objectionable behaviors by Main characters. I didn't connect with the story at all; significant aspects of this story irritated me enough that I struggled to finished it. Series was abandoned. Not recommended.